The big boss of a major Quebec book printer is asking for more latitude in hiring foreign workers to make up for the current labor shortage
Serge Loubier, president and CEO of Marquis Imprimeur, whose head office is in Montmagny, in the Chaudière-Appalaches region, regrets that the government limits the percentage of foreign workers who can be on its payroll to 10%. . He would like that percentage to be doubled.
“I have hired four workers from Mauritius and eight more will arrive soon. They already speak French and asked me if they could bring family members. Unfortunately, this is not possible with the limitation. I find it normal to confine someone who wants to bring workers to the region.”
Mr. Loubier believes that, without him, people from Mauritius probably would not have set their sights on Montmagny, adding that he spent thousands of dollars to bring them to Quebec. “Of course there is a limit and you must not go too fast. With a 20% threshold, I could meet my needs.”
Investments that save the day
Fortunately, according to the CEO, investments in new technologies allow his company to increase its productivity without adding staff. A $30 million investment plan is in place to increase production at the company's two Quebec factories, in Montmagny, as well as in Louiseville, Mauricie. This sum includes a loan of $10 million from the government.
For the Montmagny plant, Marquis Imprimeur recently purchased a new printing technology that allows the paper to be dried with ultraviolet lamps. “It’s more environmentally friendly compared to gas. In addition, the production speed is accelerated. What we did with three traditional presses, we will do with only one.”
In Louiseville, robots were recently installed to automate packaging. “When things are going a little less well in packaging, you can reduce the pace so as not to overload the workers. The robot always goes at the same speed and it is never tired. Boxing, palletizing, labeling will be done in automated ways,” explained Mr. Loubier, adding that this change did not lead to layoffs among the staff, the workers being assigned to other tasks. .
Moreover, more than 40 jobs will be created in Montmagny and Louiseville thanks to these technological contributions.
Marquis Imprimeur experienced 20% growth in its last fiscal year. The company's turnover is $150 million and Serge Loubier aims to double this amount within five years.